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Sarasota, FL — Today, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida (PPSWCF) is excited to announce plans to expand their health services to include care for transgender patients who are transitioning in all of the organization’s 11 health centers. These new services are set begin in October.

“For nearly 50 years, Floridians have relied on Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida for comprehensive reproductive health care and information, including life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, vasectomies, HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, STD testing and treatment, and routine gynecological care.  We are committed to providing high quality, expert health care regardless of race, income, geography, citizenship status or gender identity and expression. These new services will strengthen our ability to provide the Florida communities we serve with the essential health care services they need to be healthy and strong,” said Barbara Zdravecky, CEO of PPSWCF.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals often face challenges and barriers to accessing needed health services and, as a result, can more often experience worse health outcomes. Health care environments can be unwelcoming to transgender and gender-nonconforming patients — from filling out forms, to the language used in the waiting room, to insurance coverage, to staff understanding of transgender identities. The intimate nature of sexual and reproductive health care — screening and treatment for STDs, cancer screenings, and birth control — can also lead to increased anxiety for those seeking care.

One national survey found that of transgender people seeking health care:

  • 28% were subjected to harassment in medical settings and 2% were physically assaulted in doctor's offices;
  • 19% were refused medical care, with higher numbers for people of color (21% of black trans people and 23% of Latino/a trans people have been refused medical care due to bias);
  • 28% postponed medical care when sick or injured due to discrimination.

As health care providers, educators, and advocates, Planned Parenthood is committed to serving all people in our communities with care and respect. Said Zdravecky, “We are proud to contribute to improving the way transgender people receive health care in our region. Continually working to make our health centers safe and supportive environments is valuable for all patients, by allowing people to be who they are, and by providing them with a supportive, inclusive, and nonjudgmental health care environment.”

“Expanding health care services to include services for transgender people that are transitioning will advance our mission to provide high-quality, affordable care to all by serving the vast unmet needs of Floridians,” said Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran, VP of Medical Affairs for PPSWCF. “I am proud that we are expanding our expert health and education services to include all people.”

PPSWCF provides high-quality, and affordable health care through over 40,000 patient visits each year, and. PPSWCF also reaches nearly 20,000 young people, parents, teachers, and social services professionals throughout the region with sexual health information, education, and professional training. One in five American women has relied on Planned Parenthood for high quality, affordable care at some point in their life.

For more information about the beginning of these new services, or to schedule an interview, please contact Anna V. Eskamani at 407-376-3690 or [email protected].



Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, began operations in 1966 and provides vital sexual and reproductive health services and comprehensive sexuality education to women, men and teens in Ft. Myers, Immokalee, Kissimmee, Lakeland, Manatee, Naples, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Tampa. The mission of Planned Parenthood is to ensure the right of all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health by providing medical services, education and advocacy. Go to www.myplannedparenthood.org for information or call (941) 365.3913.


Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida


Anna Eskamani: 941-209-7940, [email protected]


September 26, 2016